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For Oral Answer on : 18/05/2023
Question Number(s): 8 Question Reference(s): 22636/23
Department: Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media the supports, if any, that are made available by her Department to encourage and promote poetry on a national basis; her views on the appointment of a Poet Laureate to the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


 In relation to the proposal for a poet laureate for the Oireachtas, as Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media I have no specific role in this matter and recognise the remit of the Oireachtas Commission in this regard.  I am, however aware that other parliaments have made such appointments.  I am aware also of the positive contribution that access to and participation in the arts can bring in different contexts including in the workplace, in terms of individual and collective wellbeing, and in terms of bringing fresh perspectives.  Therefore, while it is not a matter for me to decide, I hope, and am confident, that the matter will receive appropriate consideration.  

My Department provides support for the arts through the Arts Council.  Poetry Ireland is the organisation dedicated to developing, supporting and promoting poetry on the island of Ireland and is funded by the Arts Council and by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  It has partnerships with arts centres, festivals, schools, colleges and bookshops at home and abroad and is committed to creating performance and publication opportunities for poets at all stages of their careers, securing a future for Irish poetry. Further information is available on Poetry Ireland’s website.

Poetry Day Ireland is an island-wide celebration of poetry inviting people to read, write, and share a poem, and is one of most high profile events aimed at promoting poetry on the island of Ireland.  Organised by Poetry Ireland, it took place on 27 April 2023 with over 100 events took place with the theme ‘Message in a Bottle’. 

Culture Ireland provides substantial support for the promotion of Irish poetry  worldwide, supporting Irish poets in bringing their work to international audiences building on our strong global reputation for poetry.

My Department’s Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based initiative designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing.  This Programme has supported thousands of largely culture-based events exploring issues of identity, community, culture, heritage and citizenship including projects on poetry. County Cork is home to a wealth of culture and heritage.  The Deputy will find details of several projects in his constituency on the Creative Ireland’s website under Creative Communities.

The Ireland Chair of Poetry Trust was set up in 1998 following the award of the Nobel Prize of Literature to Seamus Heaney and is jointly held between Queen’s University Belfast, Trinity College UCD, the Arts Councils of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Every three years a poet of honour and distinction is chosen to represent the Chair as Ireland’s Professor of Poetry. The current incumbent is Paul Muldoon and the previous holder, Frank Ormsby.